Thursday, March 22, 2018


Erected, according to tradition, over the house of the father of St. Ambrose (about 334/397) who would have lived here before being transferred as consul in Milan where he later became bishop, in the area once occupied by the TEMPLE OF HERCULES MUSAGETE
According to tradition, at the time of St. Leo III (795/816) it became the property of a certain Maxima, hence perhaps the name, who built a Latin cross church with monastery
The specification De Maxima in the name of the church appears in the sources only in the thirteenth century and, in fact, it is most likely derived from the nearby Cloaca Maxima, the oldest sewer of Rome, or from a commercial building known as Porticus Maxima
It was called S. Stefano de Maxima and S. Maria in Formosa but in the fifteenth century it returned to its original name
Rebuilt in the years 1606/26 maybe by Carlo Maderno (1556/1629) for the De Torres family
Complete with dome and side altars in 1633 by Orazio Torriani (about 1601/about 1657)
The FAÇADE was rebuilt in 1863 on the model of the previous one and on the same year the church was restored and the interior embellished with inlaid marble altar frontages taken from Ligurian churches
Since 1861 the monks of Subiaco live in the premises
Nineteenth-century painting “Sts. Marcellina, Ambrose and Satyr” which replaced the painting by Pietro da Cortona “Martyrdom of St. Stephen” stolen in 1810
Statue “St. Benedict” of the Roman Orfeo Boselli (about 1600/67), who was inspired by the style of François Duquesnoy
“Crucifixion” copy with variations from the original by Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746) in S. Sylvester in Capite
Canvas of 1974 painted on the occasion of the visit of Pope Paul VI to the Church
“Cardinal Virtues”: “Justice defeats Envy”, “Fortress defeats Fear”, “Temperance defeats Lust” and “Prudence defeats Luck” about 1633 by Francesco Cozza (1605/82), pupil of Domenichino
“This is actually the triumphs of the cardinal virtues on the personifications of the vices opposing them, as they are described by Cesare Ripa in his Iconology. (...) Inspired by similar depictions of Domenichino in S. Carlo ai Catinari, Francesco Cozza is shown here firmly rooted in his training with the first generation of Bolognese classicists” (Francesca Cappelletti)
“S. Mauro heals a paralytic” by Ciro Ferri (1634/89)
Frescoes “Life of the Virgin Mary” maybe by Giuseppe Cesari aka Cavalier d'Arpino (1568/1640) and his school
Altar “Medieval Icon” discovered in S. Benedict in Piscinula in 1846, heavily restored. Only the face of the Virgin Mary is original
Canvas “Ss. Joseph, Ambrose and Marcellina” of the second half of 1800s
Fresco transferred to canvas in 1963 originally in the portico of the church from which it was detached in 1862 “Deposition with the patrons Benedictine Sisters” about 1497 by Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano (about 1435-40/1508)
“The scene follows the iconography of the Nordic Vesperbild (image of the vesper), a subject of popular piety derived from Northern Europe and common in the Umbria region, but very unusual in Rome. Towards the end of the fifteenth century Michelangelo will be the one (...) to give fame and nobility to this Nordic popular subject. In the Roman painting the theme of the Pietà is inserted in a more complex figurative system with the presence in the background of the symbols of the 'Arma Christi' (Arms of Christ), according to an association quite common starting from the second half of the fourteenth century to encourage the faithful to meditate, prompting emotional involvement” (Anna Cavallaro)
“Death of St. Benedict” about 1609 by Baccio Ciarpi (1574/1654)
“In Rome he had Pietro da Cortona as one of his pupils. His works show a conventional narrative language in a reformed key, enriched with a luminosity influenced by Caravaggio” (Enciclopedia Treccani)


1855/59 George Wigley (?/1866) on the site of the seventeenth-century Villa Caetani
Modified in the years 1898/1900 by Maximilian Schmalzl (1850/1930)
First example of Gothic revival in Rome
S. Alfonso Liguori (1696/1787) was a bishop from Naples, intellectual and theologian, founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer or of the Redemptorists. He was proclaimed a saint in 1839
He was also a musician and composer of songs including the popular Christmas carol From Starry Skies Thou Comest. He is buried in Pagani in the Salerno province
Paintings by Eugenio Cisterna (1862/1933)
On the main altar there is the venerated “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” painted on board in the fifteenth century by an anonymous artist of the Cretan school
Attached to the church PALACE OF THE REDEMPTORISTS HEADQUARTERS 1934 by Alessandro Villa in Neo-Baroque style

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Built in the eighth century over a previous building of the fourth century dedicated to St. Boniface
The name of Alexius, Roman saint of the fifth century, was added in the year 977 when some monks arrived from Damascus in the monastery attached to the church
The real name of the church is Ss. BONIFACIO E ALESSIO (Sts. Boniface and Alexius)
Rebuilt in 1217 (also the belfry) by Honorius III Savelli (1216/27)
Restored in 1582
Renovated in 1750 (also the façade) by Tommaso De Marchis (1693/1759) who was also the architect of Palazzo Mellini on Via del Corso
Restored 1852/60 for the Somaschi Fathers
Under the church there is archaeological evidence including an ancient well, perhaps belonging to the house of Senator Eufimiano father of St. Alexius
“Tomb of Eleonora Boncompagni Borghese” 1693 by G.B. Contini (1641/1723) with sculptures by Andrea Fucigna (about 1660/1711)
“Icon of the Virgin Mary” thirteenth century, believed to have been brought here by St. Alexius himself
“Evangelists, Redeemer, and two angels” 1860 by Carlo Gavardini (1811/69)
These paintings were not very successful at the time, for their character “too gay”, not suitable for the church
Two little columns dating back to 1217. The one on the right is by Jacopo di Lorenzo di Cosma (first half of XIII century)
It is the only Romanesque crypt in Rome with canopy underneath which the relics of Thomas of Canterbury are kept
Frescoes XII/XIII century
“Column” believed the one of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian
“S. Girolamo Emiliani introducing orphans to the Virgin Mary” end of 1600s/beginning of 1700s by Jean François de Troy (1679/1752)
De Troy was one of many French artists who worked in Rome in the first half of the eighteenth century and became part of the Roman art scene to such an extent as to become the prince of the Roman Academy of St. Luke in 1744
“By accepting a wide variety of jobs, not only for portraits, but also for religious and mythological compositions, De Troy became famous for his 'tableaux de mode', genre scenes inspired by the worldly and elegant salons he used to attend. (...) While conducting a brilliant social life, he continued his work as a painter creating such cards upholstery for the King of France, the altarpieces for the churches of Rome or smaller works for collectors” (Stéphane Loire)
“S. Girolamo Emiliani praying the Virgin Mary” 1860 by Carlo Gavardini (1811/69)
Scenic baroque machinery in stucco and wood “Holy Stairs and St. Alexius” by Andrea Bergondi (active in Rome XVIII century) which houses the wooden staircase believed to be the one under which St. Alexius lived for seventeen years of his father's charity without ever being recognized
In the convent since 1941 there is the NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ROMAN STUDIES library with about 25,000 books about history, literature, archeology and urban planning in Rome

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. AUGUSTINE (second part)

Left End Side of the Church
To the left of the main altar
Frescoes and stucco work on the ceiling “Stories of St. Monica” about 1585/90 by G.B. Ricci (about 1550/1624)
Frescoes on the side walls:
On the left “St. Monica comforted by a bishop” and “Vision of St. Augustine converted”, on the right “Conversion of St. Augustine” and “Death of St. Monica” in the altar wall “S. Navigio and S. Perpetua” other children of S. Monica about 1850 by Pietro Gagliardi (1809/90)
On the left “Tomb of St. Monica” (mother of St. Augustine) with sculpture maybe by Isaia da Pisa (active 1447/64) on the very strigillated sarcophagus in which St. Monica was originally buried after her death in 387 in Ostia waiting to embark with his son for Africa
The remains of the saint were moved during the restoration of Vanvitelli in the “Urn of ancient green marble” under the altar
On the right “Tomb of Cardinal Pietro Grifi” sixteenth century
Leftmost chapel
Three canvas: “Madonna appears to Sts. William of Aquitaine and Augustine” in the middle, “St. William of Aquitaine visited and healed by Our Lady” on the left and “St. Augustine ponders the mystery of the Trinity” on the right 1616, first public work in Rome and extraordinary masterpiece by the Baroque giant Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647)
The effect of optical illusion was diminished when the large tomb of Cardinal Lorenzo Imperiali was built and reduced the visibility of the chapel from the outside. Originally the effect was spectacular as only a balustrade was separating the chapel from the church
“In the vault Lanfranco built the first Baroque dome in Rome, transforming elements of Correggio illusionism in a style attributable to an influence of Annibale Carracci. The side paintings are instead dominated by a Caravaggio-like chiaroscuro atmosphere. A first version of the altar piece with only Christ crowning the Virgin (without God the Father) and a different location of the two adoring saints in the lower part, which did not please the clients and the Augustinians, is now in the Louvre” (Eric Schleier - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani)
Marble decoration by Giovanni Maria Baratta (active since 1644/d. after 1679) with the statue of “St. Thomas of Villanova and Charity” outstanding masterpiece of Melchiorre Caffà (1636/67) finished by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86)
The poor Melchiorre Caffà died after completing St. Thomas and having sketched the woman who was executed by Ferrata who also sculpted the statues on the pediment
The chapel was dedicated to St. Thomas of Villanova after his canonization in 1658
“The female figure is not an anonymous woman of the people: in an act of poetic identification of the donor with the recipient, she appears in the traditional role of Charity. Placing her outside the central niche and turning her toward the saint, the artist has transformed her as a link between real life and the fictional world of art. Instead of worshiping a cult image the poor who pray here are encouraged to identify with the one who receives alms and to participate in charitable work of the active Church. These figures exhibit a super sensitive spirituality, an almost morbid sensitivity, compared to which the works by Bernini appear massive, strong and manly” (Rudolf Wittkower)
Reliefs in stucco “Miracles of St. Thomas of Villanova” about 1760 by Andrea Bergondi (active in Rome XVIII century)
In the upper right side “Tomb of Cardinal Lorenzo Imperiali with allegories of Fame, Time and Death” 1672 by Domenico Guidi (1625/1701)
The eagle flying out of the tomb represents the soul of the Cardinal
Four “Doctors of the Church” by Isaia da Pisa (active 1447/64) originally part of St. Monica's tomb
“Two busts of Augustinians” by Gaspare Sibilla (about 1723/82)
“Crucifix between Sts. Cosmas and Damian” in marble maybe by Luigi Capponi (active end of 1400s/beginning of 1500s)
Above the door relief with “Christ dead held by two angels” maybe by Giovanni Duknovich aka Giovanni Dalmata (about 1440/1510)
Oil paintings on the side walls and in the apse “Stories of St. John of Sahagún” about 1660 by artists of the Roman School
S. Apollonia was a martyr of the third century in Alexandria
She had her teeth torn before spontaneously throwing herself into the fire. That's why she was declared patron saint of the dentists
“S. Apollonia” about 1585 by Girolamo Muziano (1532/92)
On the right “Allegoric figure symbolizing Martyrdom” and on the left “Allegoric figure symbolizing Virginity” about 1660 works by Francesco Rosa (active since 1674/d. 1687) Roman pupil of Nicolas Poussin and Pietro da Cortona
Extraordinary oil painting “St. Clare of Montefalco” about 1751 by Sebastiano Conca (1680/1764)
St. Clare of Montefalco gives her heart to Christ in search of a place to plant the Cross, disturbing and morbid subject chosen by Sebastiano Conca for one of his last Roman works before returning to Naples
St. Clare was beatified in 1742, a period which was the arrangement of the chapel, and was canonized only in 1881
On the walls on the right “St. Clare in prayer” and on the left “Apparition of Christ to St. Clare” by an anonymous eighteenth-century artist
1643 Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) for Angelo Pio. Bernini probably entrusted the construction of the chapel to Andrea Bolgi (1606/56)
Apse with frescoes and stucco “Angelic Glory” about 1643/49 by Guidobaldo Abbatini (1600/56)
The altarpiece “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” also by Abbatini was destroyed during the eighteenth century renovations by Vanvitelli
The image of the Madonna and Child on the altar is a copy of the “Madonna del Buonconsiglio” venerated in Genazzano
On the right “Tomb of Angelo Pio” about 1649 and on the left “Tomb of Baldassarre Pio” about 1643 maybe by Andrea Bolgi
Body of St. Benedict Martyr from the Catacomb of S. Callisto moved here in 1930
Bernini mingled here for the first time frescoes and stucco with an artifice that has made seem “actually true that fake that is nothing but fake”
“The awareness in architectural terms, of the problem of light may proceed from the primitive image of the altar of St. Bibiana and, as successive stages, with the monument of the Countess Matilda in St. Peter's, the Raymondi Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio and the Pio Chapel in St. Augustine. (...) This would bring together works that have in common the purist choice of a single material, white marble, and derive from the experience tied to the constraints of the artistic formation of the sculptor and still are part of the fortune of white marble in Rome around 1630 when, at S. Carlino and Sts. Luke and Martina, the two main antagonists of Bernini lay the foundations of their architectural work, renouncing to the enrichment of colors, typical of Roman Mannerism” (Paolo Portoghesi)
Shocking “Madonna of the Pilgrims” 1603/04 (1606?) by Michelangelo Merisi aka Caravaggio (1571/1610) for Ermete Cavalletti
The Madonna is a portrait of Lena (perhaps also portrayed in the “Death of the Virgin” in the Louvre) holding her son Paul
She was a friend and lover of Caravaggio and because of her the bloody fight took place in Piazza Navona in July 1605 between Caravaggio and the notary Mariano Pasqualoni: Caravaggio seriously injured the notary and he was forced to flee to Genoa for three weeks during which his powerful protectors covered up the story
For the posture of the Virgin Mary Caravaggio was maybe inspired by the ancient sculpture Barbarian Woman or Tusnelda kept in Villa Medici at the time and now in Florence
For the purely classical features of the face and for the long neck perhaps Caravaggio was inspired by the statue of Jacopo Sansovino, the Madonna del Parto a few steps from here
Among the many extraordinary details of a piece of art that moves, engages and shakes the soul one could mention the superb high contrast of light on the face of the Child Jesus, who, also because of this, really manages to appear at once human and divine, as very few similar images in the world do
Also striking is the incredible consistency of the material of the white cloth, symbolizing the shroud of Christ, hanging from the right arm of the Virgin Mary, one of the many technical virtuosity of Caravaggio always fitting and meaningful, never an exercise in self-indulgence
“It still has in common with the Deposition and the Cerasi paintings the diagonal composition, the low eye level and the close-up vision. But the intense darkness of the space envelops the figures even more, it doesn't highlight them from the sculptural point of view as strongly as in Deposition. Whilst generally the Madonna of Loreto is represented enthroned in Her Holy House as she is carried by the angels, the Virgin Mary here is resting on the threshold of a house in Rome in front of two common pilgrims with bare and dirty feet. It was a completely new idea that caused a stir especially among the common people who had identified themselves in those two pilgrims. It is the most moving Caravaggio's painting from the human point of view, based as it is on the meeting, on the close proximity of the pilgrims pious and full of hope, representing the whole of humanity, with the Madonna and Child bringing love, blessing and redemption” (Erich Schleier)
On the right “St. William of Aquitaine” and on the left “St. Mary Magdalene” beginning of 1600s, all works by Cristoforo Casolani (1587/1629), a pupil of Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio
1756/60 by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) and Carlo Murena (1713/64) to replace the old sacristy incorporated into the convent. In the process Vanvitelli destroyed the Chapel of St. Helena with paintings by Daniele da Volterra
Outside the sacristy
To the right of the door of the sacristy “Bust of Panvinio Onofrio (1530/68)” by Gaspare Sibilla (about 1723/82)
Onofrio Panvinio was the founder of Christian archeology and modern ecclesiastical historiography. It was he who first dated from the sources the foundation of Rome on 21 April 753 BC
Above the door of the sacristy “Bust of Cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville” patron of the church
Inside the sacristy
Above the door painting “Preaching of St. Augustine” maybe by Girolamo Muziano (1532/92)
In the ceiling “Baptism of St. Augustine” in 1887 by Pietro Gagliardi (1809/90)
Altar altarpiece “Alms of St. Thomas of Villanova” by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62) from Viterbo, a pupil of Pietro da Cortona
Cabinets made out of wood from Brazil 1760
“Even in the sacristy, as in the works for the convent, the intervention of Vanvitelli is based on a classical and solemn style, with clean lines and harmonious proportions. The simple and almost austere design of the architectural is softened and made more elegant by curvilinear elements as the rounded corners, the clipei, the design of the floor” (Valeria Annecchino)
Angelic Library
Next to the church, the first library in Rome open to the public, founded in 1614 by the Augustinian Angelo Rocca. It is specialized in literature and philology
It became property of the Italian State in 1873
Since 1941 it is the headquarters of the ACCADEMIA LETTERARIA DELL'ARCADIA (Literary Academy of the Arcadia)
It contains about 200,000 volumes, 2,650 manuscripts and more than 1,000 incunabula
Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) designed in 1659 a new wing, executed in the years 1659/69 by Francesco Righi
It was enlarged in the years 1756/65 by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) and Carlo Murena who designed on the first floor the room known as the “Vase”
The shelves in walnut wood date back to 1668
“Two pairs of celestial and terrestrial globes” 1599 and 1603 unique in Italy
Now it is the Palazzo dell'Avvocatura Generale dello Stato (Palace of the State Attorney General)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ST. AUGUSTINE (first part)

The original church dates back to 1296, built for Boniface VIII Caetani (1294/1303)
Enlarged and restored in the years 1479/83 by Giacomo da Pietrasanta (active from 1452/d. about 1497) and Sebastiano Fiorentino (active 1479/83) for the powerful and extraordinary wealthy Cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville, chamberlain of Sixtus IV Della Rovere (1471/84) and protector of the Augustinians
The FAÇADE was built with marble taken from the Colosseum
“This is one of the first Renaissance façades in Rome, really interesting because it shows, even with some disproportions and a lack of consistency on the whole, the typical desire of the time to research and experiment with new architectural solutions” (Valeria Annecchino)
Transformed in 1756/61 by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) who reworked also the bell tower. He was at the same time engaged in the construction of the humongous Royal Palace of Caserta and he had therefore entrusted the work on his behalf to Carlo Murena (1713/64)
It was restored again in the nineteenth century until 1870
St. Augustine (354/430), one of the fathers of the church, was born in Africa, in Algeria and died in Ippona, in Sardinia, where he was bishop. He is buried in Pavia. He founded the Order of the Hermits focused mainly on charitable activities and the study of theology
In the past the church had a unique feature in Rome: it was the only one to admit courtesans and it houses the tombs of some of them: Fiammetta, the lover of Cesare Borgia, Giulia Campana with her daughters, Penelope and the famous Tullia d'Aragona
It was the first church in Rome for which a dome was built. The present dome was rebuilt by Luigi Vanvitelli
It was a church so important that even Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) was commissioned a painting for the church, the “Entombment”, unfinished and now in the National Gallery in London
On the left “Madonna of Childbirth” 1521 by Jacopo Tatti aka Jacopo Sansovino (1486/1570), pupil of Andrea Sansovino (he inherited his nickname) for the heirs of the Florentine merchant Giovanni Martelli who had built the chapel
The statue was originally known as Madonna del Sasso (Our Lady of the Stone) and is still very much venerated among Roman pregnant women who frequently leave messages of prayer or thanksgiving at the statue
The tradition began in 1820 after a husband, worried about the pregnancy of his wife, had his prayer answered. He had kept a lamp on in front of the statue day and night
Probably Jacopo Sansovino was inspired by an ancient statue in porphyry representing Apollo seated, kept in a Roman palace at the time and now in the Archaeological Museum of Naples
To the left of the Madonna of Childbirth “Tomb of Francesca Faggioli” d. 1661 wife of the painter Francesco Cozza (1605/82) who painted the portrait on the monument
The very large ORGAN dates back to 1905
Two basins shell-shaped in black marble supported by two angels in white marble: “Raphael” on the left 1650 by Cosimo Fanzago (1591/1678) and “Gabriel” on the right 1660 by pupils of Fanzago
“In the Renaissance church more light had been planned, not only from the windows now closed on the right-end side, but also from the windows, now closed as well, which opened in every chapel. Brightness was widespread and enhanced by the whiteness of the pillars, covered with travertine up to a third of their height and by the whitewashed walls. The Renaissance church expressed in full, with its harmonious proportions and its diffuse light, the ideal of composed beauty of Christian humanism, for which aesthetic was deeply connected to the values and truths of faith. Medieval reminiscences perhaps due to the building traditions of the architect and workers, are visible in the strong upward thrust of the architectural framework as well as in the use of external buttresses at the sides” (Valeria Annecchino)
The church was painted in the years 1855/68 by Pietro Gagliardi (1809/90) helped by his nephew Giovanni and Enrico Marini with the following works:
On the walls of the nave “Stories from the Life of the Virgin Mary”, whose sketches are kept at the Museum of Rome, which correspond to “Jewish Heroines” foretellers of the Virgin Mary, and on the VAULT “Abraham and David”
On the PILLARS “Five prophets authors of Marian prophecies” and in the PRESBYTERY “Scene of the triumph of Mary after her death”
Fresco “Isaiah the Prophet” of 1512 Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520) clearly inspired by the figures by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel
In the parchment unrolled by the prophet are these word in Hebrew: “Open the doors so people who believe enter” (Isaiah - XXVI, 2)
Below “Madonna and Child with St. Anne” 1512 by Andrea Contucci aka Andrea Sansovino (1460/1529)
There is an interesting contrast between the realistic facial features of St. Anne and the beautifully and abstractly classic look of the Virgin Mary
Both works were commissioned by Giovanni Goritz from Luxembourg
The day of St. Anne all the poets of Rome used to hung their poems around the statue, they would go to Mass and then they would all eat at Goritz's home near Capitoline Hill
Completed in 1644 and maybe designed by Vincenzo Della Greca (1592/1661) who, at that time, was the architect of the monastery
Magnificent polychrome marble inlays representing Augustinian symbols

         Right End Side of the Church
“Monuments of Stefano and Lorenzo Mutini” beginning of 1600s
“St. Catherine of Alexandria” oil on slate, on the right “St. Lawrence” and on the left “St. Stephen” oil on paper, about 1550/60 by Marcello Venusti (about 1512/79)
“Madonna of the Roses” 1589 copy by Domenico Spagnolo from the original Madonna of the Veil that Raphael did for S. Maria del Popolo. Now it is in Chantilly
In the apse three round panels “Stories of the Virgin Mary” frescoes about 1587/88 by Avanzino Nucci (1552/1629) for Cardinal G.B. Castagna later Urban VII (1590), who was pope for only twelve days, the shortest papacy in history
On the right “St. John the Evangelist” and on the left “St. John the Baptist” maybe by G.B. Montagna recently rediscovered
On the right “Tomb of Pietro Gagliardi” who had painted the two side paintings now moved into the sacristy after the discovery of the frescoes by G.B. Montagna
1672 G.B. Contini (1641/1723). S. Rita after praying to share the sufferings of Christ on the Cross was given a thorn from the crown in her forehead and kept it there for fifteen years
“Ecstasy of S. Rita” about 1674 by Giacinto Brandi (1621/91) for the princess Camilla Orsini Borghese
In the apse “S. Rita miraculously introduced into the convent by her patrons saints Augustine, Nicholas of Tolentino and John the Baptist”, on the right “S. Rita as a girl surrounded by bees” and on the left “Death of S. Rita” about 1686 by Pietro Locatelli (about 1634/about 1710), a pupil of Pietro da Cortona
Marble group “Delivery of the Keys” 1596 by G.B. Cotignola
In the pediment table “God the Father” of the end of 1400s by the school of Pinturicchio
Apse “Musical Angels”, on the right “Immaculate Conception” and on the left “Assumption” beginning of 1600s by Giuseppe Vasconio, pupil of Guido Reni
“Wooden cross” end of 1400s, before which St. Philip Neri used to pray during the period of his studies in the adjacent convent
Above the pediment “Angels in stucco with symbols of the Passion” mid seventeenth century by an anonymous seventeenth-century artist
Renovation begun in 1636 by Vincenzo Della Greca (1592/1661)
“Sts. Augustine among St. John the Evangelist and St. Paul the First Hermit” by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
Canvas at the sides: on the right “St. Augustine defeat heresies” and on the left “St. Augustine welcomes the Redeemer in the guise of a pilgrim” by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647)
On the left “Tomb of Cardinal Giuseppe Renato Imperiali” designed by Paolo Posi (1708/76) in 1741 with sculptures by Pietro Bracci (1700/73). The mosaic portrait of the cardinal was made by Ludovico Stern (1709/77) and executed by the mosaicist of St. Peter's Basilica Pietro Paolo Cristofari (1685/1743)
Cardinal Giuseppe Renato Imperiali was the great-grandson of Cardinal Lorenzo Imperiali buried in the left transept
On the right “Baptism of St. Augustine” by Pietro Gagliardi (1809/90)
To the right of the main altar
S. Nicholas of Tolentino (1249/1305) was the first Augustinian saint to be canonized and he is patron of the souls in Purgatory
Frescoes and stucco work on the ceiling “Stories of St. Nicholas of Tolentino” about 1585/90 by G.B. Ricci (about 1550/1624) and Vincenzo Conti (second half of 1500s/about 1620)
The extraordinary decorative apparatus can well mask the fact that the right side of the chapel is longer than the left
Frescoes on the side walls, “Four Blessed of the Augustinian order”, on the right “End of the plague in Cordova” and on the left “Vision of St. Nicholas during the celebration of the Mass” about 1850 by Pietro Gagliardi (1809/90)
Altar “St. Nicholas of Tolentino” by Tommaso Salini (about 1575/1625) painter influenced by Caravaggio
1627 maybe Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) or Orazio Torriani (about 1601/about 1657)
Extraordinary “Temple-like tabernacle with dome” made of precious marbles sent from the West Indies by the Augustinian missionaries
Altar “Madonna Odighitria” maybe Byzantine
On the broken pediment two statues of “Angels kneeling” by the great Giuliano Finelli (1602/53) from terracotta models of Gian Lorenzo Bernini
On the doors on the sides “Two pairs of putti” on the left by Pietro Bracci (1700/73) and on the right by Bartolomeo Pincellotti (known from 1735/d. 1740)
In the upper part stained glass window “St. Augustine defeats heresy” by the master glassmaker Antonio Moroni (1825/86) who also made windows in other churches in Rome